BasicNeeds works in the developing world to end the suffering of mentally ill people.
By enabling people with mental illnes or epilepsy to live and work successfully in their communities, we aim to give hope to the thousands of people who struggle daily with a lack of treatment and the stigma surrounding their disease.
We work with people suffering from many types of mental and neurological illnesses, in remote rural countryside to urban slums, in Africa and Asia.
Our work is based on the philosophy of building inclusive communities, where mentally ill people – through development – realise their own rights.
Established in 1999 by Chris Underhill with funding from Andrews Charitable Trust and the Joel Joffe Charitable Trust, we have pioneered a way of working which places mentally ill people at the heart of all we do.
Called the Model for Mental Health and Development, we address both people’s illnesses and their poverty to lead to a sustainable recovery.
We work to help mentally ill people by giving them access to community based treatment so that their illnesses can be stabilised and they can get back towards a normal life.
Through building the capacity of communities, partner organisations and primary health care workers we help stop the stigma surrounding mental illness.
By providing opportunities for sustainable livelihoods we give mentally ill people a chance to work and contribute to their family income.
We also carry out valid, effective and much-needed research that listens to mentally ill people so that we have the authority to challenge people’s views on mental health and measure our successes and failures.
Improving the administration and management of our partner organisations is also important to our work so that we can help mentally ill people effectively far beyond the reach of our organisation.
Currently we work in India, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Laos PDR, Vietnam and Nepal.
BasicNeeds India Trust managed the work in India from 2001 working in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar with a number of partners. In April 2008 BasicNeeds India became fully independent. to find out more about BasicNeeds India and its operations visit www.prajadwani.org.
We have 88 full-time staff and a network of part-time staff and associates.
So far we have helped over 88,000 people with mental illness or epilepsy, not to mention their carers, their families and their communities. Unfortunately, there are many, many more people who still need our help.
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